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Open commentary on everything impacting the U.S. housing economy. The opinions expressed here represent the author's alone.

The cautionary tale of a bank called ANB

HW readers may or may not know that a not-so-small-ish bank in Arkansas, known as ANB, failed last week -- the latest in what the FDIC and other industry experts expect to be a string of bank failures in 2008 and 2009. What you may not know is what brought the bank to its knees. Via the WSJ:
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Focus shifts to HELOCs

We've been covering emerging problems in second liens for roughly a month now here at HW, including highlighting HELOC weaknesses in Bank of America Corp.'s recent earnings report and covering BofA's recent disclosure that losses on HELs are mounting and will be worse that the bank had expected even one month ago.
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This is news?

Some of the industry's trade press today is buzzing about a potential exit from mortgage banking by Tennessee-based First Horizon National Corp. -- and we can't help but scratch our heads. After all, HW reported on the potential exit way back in the middle of April, as company executives said then that they were likely to exit the business, if it couldn't be sold.
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Who's bailing out whom?

In the secondary market, things can change in an instant. One minute, its hedge funds bailing out banks. The next, it's banks bailing out hedge funds. Bloomberg takes a look Wednesday at -- surprise! -- a flickering pulse in the battered CDO market:
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Burning down the house

Talk about ruining the mojo for a classic 80s tune: CNBC on Monday took a look at a growing trend of arson among troubled homeowners, either looking to get back at a lender they feel wronged them or as part of an attempt to collect insurance dollars. Take a look: Speaking of, why didn't the segment make use of some Talking Heads as background? We're just asking.
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